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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Mueller Says Charging Trump Was Not an Option; Nadler Responds to New Mueller Remarks; Nadler Says on Impeachment -- All Options Are on The Table; Boris Johnson to Appear in Court Over Alleged Falsehood; Who Will Replace May as Prime Minister? Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 29, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, on this Wednesday, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight Robert Mueller speaks out.
He's saying if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.
Full analysis of everything the U.S. Special Counsel said about his report into the Trump campaign. Also this hour, remember the Brexit bus, Boris
Johnson will go on trial for allegedly lying during the Brexit campaign. Plus CNN is on the ground in Botswana home to the world's largest elephant
population as the country lifts its ban on elephant hunting.
We begin with an unprecedented appearance by the man who led the probe in Russia's interference into the 2016 U.S. Presidential race. Robert Mueller
breaking his silence today and explaining there wasn't sufficient evidence of a wider conspiracy. He said while he couldn't charge a sitting
President with a crime, he could not clear him either. Mr. Trump responded with a tweet saying insufficient evidence means he's innocent, case closed.
Lots of people disagree. Listen to Robert Mueller.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MUELLER, SPECIAL COUNSEL, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: The report describes the results and analysis of our obstruction of justice investigation
involving the President. The order appointing me Special Counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation.
We conducted that investigation and we kept the office of the Acting Attorney General apprised of the progress of our work. And as set forth in
the report, after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.
We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime. The introduction to the volume two of our report explains
that decision. It explains that under long-standing department policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.
That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited. The Special Counsel's Office is
part of the Department of Justice.
And by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. Charging the President with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider. The
department's written opinion explaining the policy makes several important points that further informed our handling of the obstruction investigation.
Those points are summarized in our report and I will describe two of them for you.
First, the opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting President because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are
fresh and documents available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could be charged now. And second
the opinion says that Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of
And beyond department policy, we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially -- it would be unfair to potentially accuse
someone of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge. So that was Justice Department policy. Those were the principles
under which we operated and from them we concluded that we would -- would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the President
committed a crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, is Robert Mueller passing the buck to Congress, to the American people even? There's a lot to talk about. We're joined by White
House reporter Stephen Collinson, CNN political commentator David Swerdlick, our legal analyst, Michael Zeldin. Michael, you know Robert
Mueller, he's saying if we could say he was not guilty, we would, but we can't.
[14:05:00] MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's right. He didn't say he was guilty. He said there was not evidence sufficient to exonerate him.
He then goes on to say, because we could not exonerate him, it's up to you, Congress, to make a determination whether you think those acts that we
outlined in our report which we could not indict him for still rose to the level of an inquiry as to impeachability. That is a high crime and
misdemeanor standard. Mueller set out in his oral statement what he wrote in his report and now it's up to Congress to decide what it wants to do
GORANI: And we're expecting to hear from Jerry Nadler, the House Judiciary Committee chairman by the way. And he's starting right now, I understand.
Let's go to that and I'll get back to our panel.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Mr. Mueller and his team of prosecutors and investigators worked tirelessly to follow the facts and pursue justice to
the furthest extent allowed. Although Department of Justice policy prevented the Special Counsel from bringing criminal charges against the
President, the Special Counsel has clearly demonstrated that President Trump is lying. He is lying about the Special Counsel's Findings, lying
about the testimony of key witnesses in the Special Counsel's report, and above all, lying and saying that the Special Counsel found no obstruction
and no collusion.
In his statement this morning, Special Counsel Mueller reaffirmed his report. It found substantial evidence that Russia attacked our political
system, that the Trump campaign benefited from Russian interference, that Trump and those around him repeatedly welcomed Russia's support, and that
throughout the subsequent investigation, Trump sought to obstruct Mueller time and time again. Special Counsel Mueller, today repeated three central
points which are critical for the American people.
One, the Special Counsel did not exonerate the President of the United States of obstruction of justice. Two, obstruction of justice of which
Special Counsel Mueller found substantial evidence is a serious crime that strikes at the core of our justice system. Three, the constitution points
to Congress to take action to hold the President accountable to his misconduct.
Unfortunately, Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President because Department of Justice policy prevents
a sitting President from being prosecuted. That policy, in my opinion, is wrong, but it prevented the Special Counsel from pursuing justice to the
fullest extent possible. Therefore, as Mueller again highlighted this morning, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other
wrongdoing of President Trump. We will do so. Make no mistake, no one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congressman, will you move forward with impeachment proceedings and given what Mueller has said, meaning that he feels as
though the report says all that he needs to say, will you then subpoena him to testify in front of Congress?
NADLER: With respect to the impeachment question at this point, all options are on the table and nothing should be ruled out. What Special
Counsel Mueller said loud and clear today for the American people is that President Trump is lying when he says no collusion, no obstruction, and
that he was exonerated. If Mueller wanted to exonerate the President from having committed the crime, he would have said so. Instead -- and he says
he would have said so.
Instead the Special Counsel makes clear that obstruction of justice, which he found substantial evidence of, is a serious crime that strikes at the
core of our justice system and that the Constitution points to Congress to take action to hold the President accountable. That's exactly what we will
do. The President's response to repeatedly lying to the American people and ignore all Congressional subpoenas is immoral and unlawful. No one is
above the law and we will hold the President accountable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, if I may follow up with that, then, Congressman, will you move forward with impeachment? You say it's on the table, but
what exactly does that mean?
NADLER: We are following through with our investigation. We will continue to do so and will make decisions as they seem indicated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you subpoena Mueller to testify then?
[14:10:00] NADLER: Mr. Mueller told us a lot of what we need to hear today. It's very important to be clear on what he told us and what the
special prosecutor told the American people. He reaffirmed what was in the investigation which was in the report about the investigation which found
substantial evidence that Russia attacked our political system, that the Trump campaign benefitted from Russia's interference, that Trump and those
around him repeatedly welcomed Russia's support and that throughout the investigation, Trump sought to obstruct justice and undermine Mueller and
the investigation over and over again.
The President -- sorry, the Special Counsel did not exonerate the President from having committed a crime. DOJ policy prevented Mueller from being
criminal charges against the President. So the President is lying about the Special Counsel's findings, lying and saying that the Special Counsel
found no obstruction and no conclusion. And I should add the Attorney General is lying about that too. That is serious and we will take action
to hold the President accountable for his misconduct. No one, not even the President, is above the law. Thank you very much. Thank you.
GORANI: Jerry Nadler there responding to that statement by Mueller -- Robert Mueller, giving us a little bit more details into the report but
saying that he said what he had to say, saying if they were able to state with confidence that the President had been guilty of no wrongdoing, they
would have done so, but they couldn't. And also saying that even if he's subpoenaed, he will not go further in public than what is in the report.
And when Jerry Nadler was asked now about issuing a subpoena to compel Robert Mueller to testify on Capitol Hill, he responded Mueller told us a
lot of what we need to hear today. So it doesn't sound like that they're pursuing that. Let's get back to our panel. Michael Zeldin is with us,
Stephen Collinson and David Swerdlick. And David, what do you make of what Jerry Nadler said today that the President is
lying about what's in the report and the steps forward as far as Congress is concerned?
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND "WASHINGTON POST" ASSISTANT EDITOR: So, Hala, Chairman Nadler obviously used much stronger language
than Special Counsel Mueller did earlier in the day. But I think both Mueller's press conference and Nadler's statements just now, indicate
there's more fuel for the argument on the Democratic side that Attorney General Barr mischaracterized the findings of the Mueller report,
particularly when it comes to obstruction of justice.
And I think in pure political terms, that's going to give the Democrats and one Republican, Congressman Amash, who are saying that, yes, impeachable
offenses were committed by the President essentially fuel for the idea that Congress or at least the House should move forward with impeachment even
though I think it's fair to say that right now it seems very unlikely that there would ever be a conviction on impeachment charges in this Senate.
And that, I think is clearly where we are. It doesn't change the facts as much as it moves things in a little bit different direction momentum wise.
Chairman Nadler did not seem, as you said, eager to subpoena Special Counsel Mueller, but I don't think I heard him rule it out either which you
would expect to be his position right at this moment.
GORANI: Sarah Westwood joins us from the White House. Reaction from the President after this Robert Mueller statement. What did he say?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Trump tweeted shortly after Mueller concluded his statement and said in part that there was
insufficient evidence in the report that he committed obstruction and underscored the White House's bottom line today which is that the case
should be closed. We should note that the President acknowledging there was insufficient evidence is a far cry from the total exoneration that
President Trump had been claiming when the Mueller report first came out.
Sources tell CNN that President Trump is prepared for impeachment proceedings to move forward and the attitude in this building is that
impeachment proceedings could help the President politically. They believe that public opinion has not caught up to progressive desire to impeach the
President and hope that that could boost the President's re-election prospects. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders spoke to reporters
outside the White House just moments ago and again repeated this idea from the White House that the case is closed, it's time to move on.
She dismissed suggestions that the White House has changed its tune. Notably, they haven't been repeating this line as much that there was no
collusion, no obstruction, really focusing on the no collusion part and encouraging people to move on from the Russia probe, Hala.
[14:15:00] GORANI: That would be quite a shift. Just says ago the President pinned a placard on the presidential lectern with the words no
collusion, no obstruction during a news conference. Michael Zeldin, a quick one to you because both Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel and Jerry
Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Department of Justice policy prevents Robert Mueller from bringing charges, any criminal
charges against a sitting President. Explain to our viewers what policy that is.
ZELDIN: In the Justice Department, there's an office called the Office of Legal Counsel, OLC, they refer to it as, and they issue opinions to the
Attorney General. And under two advisory opinions, and it says that a sitting President cannot be indicted. And that was the policy that Mueller
was governed by. And he said because of that OLC opinion that prohibits the indictment of a sitting President, we did not bring an indictment. We
didn't find sufficient evidence to exonerate him.
We didn't find evidence to charge him because we couldn't under the policy, and so Congress, you have a look at it under your standards of impeachable
GORANI: And, Stephen, Chairman Nadler was asked about impeachment and he responded, all options are on the table, Stephen?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Hala. I think the question we have to ask is, did anything that happened today, did
hearing from Robert Mueller in his own words for the first time change any of the political calculations here? In the immediate aftermath of those
appearances, it doesn't seem to have -- if you look at that press conference by Jerry Nadler, if you look at the statement that was issued by
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, they've not shifted their position right now on impeachment.
The question is, is there anything that's going to happen that's going to change American public opinion and bring the broad sway of the country
along with those Democrats who want to impeach Trump. It seems unlikely they will be impeachment proceedings until the equation has changed. That
is, will Republicans ever pay a bigger price for standing by President Trump and shielding him and stopping him from being kicked out of office,
than Democrats will for bringing that case in the first place.
That balance seems to be weighted towards the Republicans and the President and that is what the Speaker of the House and Jerry Nadler are looking at
and that's why notwithstanding the fact that they're very vehement in their criticisms of the President and their pointing out all of the alleged
wrongdoing that Robert Muller has exposed, they're not going that step further yet and talking about impeachment.
GORANI: And, David, what I think is interesting here is a lot of us really read and looking into the Mueller report, but ordinary Americans, perhaps,
this is their first real breakdown of what the findings of the report reveal, this was on television, it was breaking news for several hours. I
wonder if this changes the political calculus on the Democratic side in terms of how they can use this in their campaign against the President?
SWERDLICK: I agree with Stephen there that in the very immediate tense, I don't think that the political landscape is going to shift that much.
Republicans, other than Congressman Amash, have concluded that it's not in their political interest to break with the President over this whole issue.
That being said, to your point about special counsel Mueller coming out before the cameras today and saying that while he couldn't charge the
President and couldn't conclude that he had obstructed justice, he also did not have evidence to conclude that he didn't obstruct justice.
That being heard by the American public versus the many people including many members of Congress who haven't read the entire report word for word,
I do think emphasizes the idea that while there was no crime charged, that there was also no full exoneration and it does highlight the way that
Attorney General Barr came out with that letter in march where he summarized the findings of the report.
He said there was no coordination and no conspiracy. Conspiracy would be the crime involved if there were any along with obstruction of justice, but
he never said there was no collusion in the words that we all use and the words that the President likes to use. Collusion is not a legal term as we
discuss. It's just a word that means that maybe someone in the Trump campaign was playing footsie with someone who was affiliated with Russians,
whether or not it rose to the level of a crime.
GORANI: It was very interesting to hear from Robert Mueller directly. And for all of our viewers a lesson in double negatives. Thank you very much
to all three of you.
[14:20:00] Boris Johnson may be the odds-on favorite to become Britain's next Prime Minister, but now he's facing legal action over allegations he
misled voters and of course it involves, what else, Brexit.
GORANI: Boris Johnson may be a favorite to become the next U.K. Prime Minister, but that could now be in jeopardy. He's been summoned to appear
in court for alleged lies he told in the run-up to the Brexit referendum, specifically that the U.K. was spending close to half a million dollars a
week on EU membership. No word yet on when he will appear, but the person who brought the case forward says that was a lie and he misled the country.
What does this mean for his ambitions to be the next Prime Minister? Could he even be facing jail time?
Let's discuss. Geoffrey Robertson is a barrister here in the UK and he joins me now. You have represented defendants in cases -- in historic
cases. You are just mentioning Salman Rushdie. Let me ask you a little bit about this. Because this is a private individual who put together a
case against Boris Johnson, it was reviewed by a judge and the judge said it's valid.
GEOFFREY ROBERTSON, BARRISTER, UK: It's a very ancient situation before the police force. Private citizens could prosecute where they thought
someone was breaching the law. It may be odd to Americans with Donald Trump, the President, that lying to the public could be a criminal offense.
Indeed, carrying up to life imprisonment. But this law goes back a long way.
And it is if you misconduct yourself, which includes lying in public office in a way that diminishes your office and disturbs the public, then a jury
can find you guilty. And that's the basis. It's a very old law. That's the basis of why the prosecutor has acted and the judge decided that Boris
must go forward to trial.
GORANI: Is he compelled to testify?
ROBERTSON: He's compelled to turn up in court but his lawyers will argue for sure that he doesn't fall within. When I defended Salman Rushdie
against Muslims who privately prosecuted him for blasphemy, I got the court decide that last away only applied to Christians, so the case could go
ahead. So that is the sort of problem that private prosecutor sometimes face.
GORANI: He must appear in court to defend himself.
GORANI: And then what happens?
[14:25:00] ROBERTSON: The court could allow the case to go forward which would mean he faces a jury and the jury would have to decide whether
perhaps his lie is as Daniel Moynihan said or Henry Kissinger, whether he lies because it's in his interest or in fact lies because it's in his
nature. And he is a fabulous liar as is Donald Trump. And the question is, did this law come over on the Mayflower because it's very old. And may
still linger around the odd American state.
GORANI: This case centers around that claim, famous claim because it was on the side of a bus during the Brexit referendum campaign, that the U.K.
was sending 350 million pounds a week to the EU. Of course that figure is very much disputable --
ROBERTSON: Of course. The question is whether Boris new it was false and deliberately told it.
GORANI: I want to remind our viewers, this is a Vote Leave campaign and this is the bus in question. Let's take back control with the 350-million-
pound figure on the side of it. What the Boris Johnson team is saying, this is a stunt. It is a political stunt.
ROBERTSON: It's now been approved by a judge so you can't call it a stunt. He could say, for example, that he didn't know it was false. That would
probably be difficult.
GORANI: You can claim ignorance in this case?
ROBERTSON: He could claim ignorance. But he probably wouldn't pass the jury test. He could say, this would be the ironic thing, that the law was
too vague. That's is in fact what the law commission said a few years ago. He could say that the law was too vague to have him prosecuted, and we have
a convention, the European Convention of Human Rights which requires every criminal law to be certain and not vague. So that in itself, at the end of
the day, he may well be saved by Europe, the Europe he's been campaigning - -
GORANI: Why do you think the judge ruled in the favor of the complainant in this case?
ROBERTSON: She didn't decide the case. She said there was a prima facie case in which there was a possibility that it might succeed. It's all now
goes to court to decide, A, whether it was a lie, everyone thinks it is, B, whether he knew it was a lie, and, C, whether it was a lie that should have
been nailed at the time. The Remain campaign was very poor and it should have nailed it.
He could say, look, it was a lie, yes, I told it, yes, I knew it was a lie, but they were telling lies too. But it's a question of -- a jury may
think. And I think this was behind the judge's decision that there is a level at which politicians must be accountable. This was a big lie. And
it was something that did swing the campaign.
GORANI: He might be Prime Minister by the time this makes it to court.
ROBERTSON: He may well be. That will complicate matters. But the law must take its course. It's perhaps a quicker and a better way than
impeachment to deal with the head of state.
GORANI: Geoffrey Robertson. Thank you very much for joining us. I really appreciate your time with us.
The future of British politics, Brexit, and who will be Prime Minister are all being lampooned by British papers. So much material and so little time
and cartoonists are having a field day. Nick Glass has that story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK GLASS, CNN JOURNALIST: The Conservative Party leadership contenders, a cartoonist's interpretation, toots and castaways from a sinking ship, HMS
Tory. The open-mouthed blond in the center is the outright favorite, Boris Johnson. The former Foreign Secretary and former London Mayor is by far
the best known of the candidates. The divisive and sometimes buffoonish figure for many Tory MPs. He's hugely popular with the party membership.
It is fair to say that he is wanted to be Prime Minister his entire political life.
Is this his best ever chance?
SEBASTIAN PAYNE, WRITER, 'FINANCIAL TIMES": Yes, indeed. And it is his last chance as well that if he doesn't get the Tory leadership at this
point, that's probably him done for front-line politics.
GORANI: Is he going to win?
FRASER NELSON, EDITOR, 'THE SPECTATOR": We are living in thrillingly unpredictable times. A Boris Prime Minister-ship might seem as unthinkable
as a Trump presidency, Brexit results. The impossible is happening all the time in politics.
GLASS: No sooner had Theresa May dropped out of sight then there was a sprint to the front door.
Tory political contests are often characterized as something of a horse race. And as is their way, most of the runners and riders came out of the
gate before starter's orders. Already it's a pretty crowded field if not, bus. Expect yet more candidates to leap on board in the coming days.
[14:30:00] NELSON: I think it's going to be a Tory version of whacky races, lots of entertainment and I'm not sure we'll learn very much in the
process. But it will be unwatchable.
SAJID JAVID, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: My name is Sajid Javid and I'm standing to be leader of the Conservative and Unionist party and the next
Prime Minister. My message is simple, it's time to rebuild trust.
MICHAEL GOVE, BRITISH ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY: I led the campaign to bring Britain out of the European Union. I'm ready to unite the Conservative and
Union Party in that mission. I'm ready to deliver Brexit. I'm ready to take Britain out of the European Union.
ANDREA LEADSOM, MP CONSERVATIVE PARTY: I can confirm I will be standing for the leadership of my party and as the next Prime Minister and I do
believe I am the decisive and compassionate leader who can reunite our great country.
GLASS: The great new challenge for all the candidates is the emergence of Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.
NELSON: They now face a question not of improving their performance whether they're going to survive as a party or not. They send a very real
risk of being smashed if they get -- if they try again and get it wrong. Then the conservative party this great election winning machine might end
up as a stain on Nigel's ashtray.
GLASS: Lady in red on Downing Street, Theresa May at the end of her resignation's speech.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I will shortly leave the job that has been the honor of my life to hold.
GLASS: As we all know one issue monopolized her time at number 10 and ultimately spelled her downfall.
Will her successor handle Brexit any better?
Nick Glass, CNN, in London.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Still to come tonight, more on our top story, the man behind the Russia investigation speaks and he says he
hopes to never talk about it again in public. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Back to our top story, the first and perhaps only time we'll hear Robert Mueller talk about his report on the Trump campaign and Russia.
Just a few hours ago, the special counsel read a 10-minute statement, he didn't take questions. One of Mueller's key points was that his report
expressly did not clear President Trump of committing a crime. Mueller also said the Russian effort to interfere in the election was his biggest
concern adding that every American should pay attention to that. He even used the word "attack," that the U.S. was attacked.
And he stressed that he did not want to testify before Congress. Saying that his 448-page report was his testimony and he had nothing else to add.
I'm joined now by CNN's Kara Scannell in Washington. Will there be efforts to subpoena Robert Mueller after this statement?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What's interesting, so far today, we have not heard anything from the Democrats that they're willing to make
that next move.
Now, the House Judiciary chairman, Jerry Nadler, was just asked this during a press conference that he had if he would subpoena Robert Mueller for
testimony. And during that press conference, Nadler said that he believed that he heard enough of what Bob Mueller had to say today.
So not saying that -- not doubling down on the need to subpoena him to come in and a little bit agreeing with Mueller that Mueller making clear that he
did not want to speak beyond the report, this 448 pages and beyond what he said today, Hala.
GORANI: And, by the way, the press secretary, Sarah Sanders, was asked about the Mueller statement and the presidential response and this is what
she had to say just minutes ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It does beg the question if Donald Trump were not the president, could he be charged with a crime? What do you say to that?
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think it's real simple. I say what we have said is that they were looking at whether or not there was
collusion. That would be the crime that would have been committed. Collusion or obstruction, and all of those things have been determined to
not have taken place collusion, conspiracy, obstruction. And again, we consider this very much to be case closed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:35:17] GORANI: So, Kara, this is inaccurate, of course. The special counsel went out of his way to say that if he could clear the president, he
would, but he cannot.
SCANNELL: That's right, Hala. I mean, it couldn't be more different than what Robert Mueller said today in his own words. We're hearing him for the
very first time. I mean, he reiterated that Russia attacked the U.S. in a systematic and methodical way and he said it was something that every
American deserved to pay attention to.
He also spoke to the question of collusion or in the legal terms, conspiracy, saying that they had insufficient evidence to charge that as a
crime, not finding that there was exoneration or that there was no evidence, just that there was insufficient evidence to hold up in a court
And on the question of obstruction of justice, he said that he was actually bound by DOJ policy that says that you can't indict a sitting president.
And that they couldn't even consider that when they were conducting this investigation.
But he did say that he did conduct it because he wanted to get all the evidence while memories were fresh, while documents were available and
preserve that so if it was something that someone else wanted to take up, winking that to Congress, that this information is now there and collected
for them in this report and in all the underlying documentation with it, Hala.
GORANI: Kara Scannell, thanks very much. Mueller's statement indicates he has no plans or desire, actually, to testify before Congress. He
essentially said, look, it's in my report, I won't go beyond what's in this almost 450-page report even though plenty of Democrats are eager for him to
testify. And it makes clear that his report on interference from Russia does not exonerate President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MUELLER, U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SPECIAL COUNSEL: The order appointing me special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that
could obstruct the investigation. And we conducted that investigation and we kept the office of the acting attorney general apprised of the progress
of our work.
And as set forth in the report after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would not
have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, for reaction from Congress, our Sunlen Serfaty joins me now from Capitol Hill.
And, Sunlen, essentially, the special counsel is saying, I've done what I need to do. I wrote this really long report. I'm now going to present it
to you in a 10-minute statement. I can't indict a sitting president. Congress, over to you.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Hala, and I think we're seeing each party, democrats and republicans,
interpret that specific statement in a different way. From Republicans are saying case closed, he's done his work, we need to move on.
And many Democrats and notably one Republican, Justin Amash, basically saying that the ball is now in Congress's court to continue investigating
potentially push for an impeachment and we've heard from many top Democrats up here on Capitol Hill saying that this essentially now falls on
Congress's lap to respond and that just kind of emboldened the many investigations that are up here on Capitol Hill.
Just in the last hour, we've heard from chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler, he is someone who has been very forceful in trying
to get Robert Mueller up in front of Congress to testify in public. It was notable, as you said, that Mueller today indicated that he wants to let the
report and let that 10-minute statement today stand and that he made it clear he does not want to testify, that he doesn't feel like he would go
any farther than the report.
And interesting today, when he was asked about that, Jerry Nadler, if he would push to subpoena Robert Mueller to come up here, compel him to
testify in front of the committee, he said that, "I think that Mueller told us a lot of what we needed to learn today." So really sidestepping that
question, which I think is notable, given that only a few weeks ago, Nadler was saying that, one way or the other, they are going to hear from Mueller,
whether that means a subpoena or not.
Also, this is certainly pushed some Democrats to go farther on the question over impeachment. We're having many more Democrats notably among 2020
candidates like Cory Booker say that, no, this does not now solicit. Mean that Congress should move to make impeachment inquiries to start that
Jerry Nadler today, he said all options are on the table. No options have been ruled out, very much echoing what he has said in recent days. And
certainly the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and certainly one of the key members that decides things up here. She basically said keep focusing on
investigations. She has, from the most part, through this whole process really said just show restraint.
GORANI: Well, Kamala Harris is, of course, running for president and one of the most recognizable names in the Democratic Party had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:40:08] SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will say that I think what is clear is that I think it's a fair inference from what
we heard in that press conference that Bob Mueller was essentially referring impeachment to the United States Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So there you have it. Senator Harris saying he's basically telling Congress to take it from here.
SERFATY: Absolutely. And it will be interesting to see what the other 2020 candidates respond with. Does that move other candidates as well? We
heard from her and Cory Booker.
Bernie Sanders just in the last few minutes saying that if the House Judiciary Committee believes that they should move to impeachment, he would
be in support of that. But that's not in line what the House Democrat leadership, at the moment, is saying. They're really trying to show
restraint even though the pressure is certainly mounting on them to push towards that direction.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much. Sunlen Serfaty on Capitol Hill.
To political issues in another part of the world, Israel's prime minister is up against the deadline, Benjamin Netanyahu who heads the Likud Party
has just hours to form a new coalition government. And if it fails, it could lead to a do-over of last month's general election.
The main sticking point is a proposal that would require ultraorthodox Jews to serve in the military. Netanyahu is locked in a dispute with his former
defense minister over that particular issue.
Still to come tonight, it was one of the biggest shows ever made. Now, one of its biggest stars is checking himself into a wellness retreat. Much
more ahead on the pressures of fame. Stay with us.
GORANI: He was front and center in one of the world's biggest television shows. But now, Kit Harington is checking himself into a wellness retreat
to deal with "personal issues."
The British actor played Jon Snow throughout the show's eight year run. Take a look at this clip from a behind the scenes documentary. This was
Harington's reaction when he finds out what happens in the final episode.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIT HARINGTON, ENGLISH ACTOR: Ending before the iron throne, Dany steps forward and kisses the man she loves, it's the perfect kiss, their eyes
closed, his hand behind her head, her hand in his cheek. Dany's eyes opened suddenly as she draws a sharp breath. Jon's eyes open as well
already filling with tears.
For a moment, neither moves, as if moving will make this real. We see Jon with his hands still on the hilt of the dagger he just lodged in Dany's
heart. Her strength leaves her and she collapses to the marble. He keeps her in his arms and she falls, kneeling down to the floor beside her. He
looks down at what he's done, terrible and necessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Harington has spoken openly about in the past about his struggles dealing with fame.
Let's bring in our psychologist, Honey Langcaster-James, she's here.
So I find this interesting, because in our job, sometimes as journalist, you know, we go cover very, very high-octane stories. There's a sense of
camaraderie, kind of like on a show like this. Then you come home and a lot of times people get depressed.
[14:45:09] HONEY LANGCASTER-JAMES, PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes.
GORANI: Explain the phenomena.
LANGCASTER-JAMES: Well, I think one of the things that we're only really starting to understand now with the advent of the media industry as it is
in the last few years, is just that impact of this sort of high level of attention that people get. We're not really designed to get that much
attention as a human being.
So I think one of the things that we need to understand better is how can we sort of maybe buffer that affect a little bit, that massive come down.
I think one of the things that we've seen here, I mean, first of all, we don't know really what's going on with Kit Harington. We need to be
careful not to speculate.
But I think one of the things that we see time and time again is when actors or people in the entertainment industry do come out the other side
of a very high project. There is a real adjustment. And I think one of the difficulties is, when you're in that kind of position, it's difficult
to actually share your honest feelings about it, because everybody else thinks you've got the best job in the world.
GORANI: Of course.
LANGCASTER-JAMES: But the reality is that for you, as an actor, as a performer, as a reality TV star, whatever your role is, the reality is
you're going home to something that feels very empty. The only way is down after an experience like that.
GORANI: And another thing that I think is the case, especially for these superstars, the attention they get is so off the chart, is the fact that
there's really not many people who can understand what you're going through because you're the one who's experienced it.
And if you go home and talk to your mother back in your hometown, or your sister, or your friends from high school, they're not really going to get
LANGCASTER-JAMES: That's right. And that's one of the things that's really isolating. I actually work with quite a lot of people who work in
the public eye. And one of the things they tell me, time and time again, is that they feel lonely, they feel isolated. And I think that's the thing
you can be surrounded by lots of people, lots of yes, men, for want of a better phrase.
And actually, you can feel very, very alone because it is a very unique experience and we don't really, really get it, even though we can try to
GORANI: And this is not -- this is separate from the Kit Harington story, but it could lead to people self-medicating or drinking, or whatever the
issue is, because this is also something that is a self-soothing thing you can do which is reach for alcohol or whatever the -- whatever your
LANGCASTER-JAMES: Well, I think this is certainly something that we seem to have seen over a number of years now, of people who are in the public
eye also tending to have a tendency to turn towards drink, drugs, those kinds of things. And often when people turn to alcohol or drugs, it's
through a self-medicating means. And it's often just because they can't cope with the sense of -- that they're going through, the emotions that
they're going through and so they would choose to deal with that privately and that can be one way that they can choose to do that.
GORANI: So last question, how -- what is the healthy way to adjust? Because that's their job. Other people will have high-pressure jobs, and
I'm talking about people who cover conflict zones. It's a typical situation, where you feel very alive. You're doing the story and you're
usually with friends and colleagues where you're in the trenches together and then you come back and stuff just feels a little meaningless.
LANGCASTER-JAMES: Yes, yes.
GORANI: How do you adjust in a healthy way?
LANGCASTER-JAMES: Well, I think there's a couple of things to do. One I think is about the process of living in that world initially, it's really a
good idea to stay anchored to normal relationships, normal family and friends who don't see you as that person in the movies or on the TV. I
think that's one good thing you can do to mitigate the effects.
The other thing is that if that is happening, I think really doing what Kit seems to be doing, which is take timeout, don't feel that you -- you know,
just because you have that position, that the public own you, if you need to retreat, that's really important.
GORANI: I 100 percent agree with you. But to this day, even though we're talking about it, the stigma attached to admitting the fact that you're
overworked, that you're overwhelmed, that you're feeling depressed, that you need to go, you know, two, three weeks to a center, where you're going
to be able to take some time for yourself. People are worried that they're going to appear weak to their bosses.
LANGCASTER-JAMES: Yes, that is true. That is so true. But I think one of the good things about perhaps what's happening and what's changing in the
media now is that people are willing to say, actually, I do need to take timeout.
I know that everybody can afford to go to a retreat or rehab or whatever else. But I think the fact that we have got high-profile individuals
saying, I need help or I need a bit of timeout does help to destigmatize this. And I would love to see us going forward with more conversation
about mental health in general. Because we know we're having a bit of a crisis in this country.
GORANI: That's why I wanted to do this interview as well, because any opportunity that, I think, we have to normalize what is an absolutely
ordinary issue for people, which is mental health, anxiety, depression, whatever itis, is one that -- is a good one to talk about. Thank you,
Honey Langcaster-James. Really appreciate your time on the program.
More to come, including controversy in Botswana as the government defends lifting a ban on elephant hunting. We're live from the country after the
[14:50:41] GORANI: The government in Botswana is defending its decision to lift a ban on hunting elephants. The country is home to about 130,000
elephants. It's the largest population on the continent.
The conservationist say the species is still vulnerable. David McKenzie has more.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tuli's (ph) mother was killed. Panda was caught in the fence line of the commercial
farm. Mulilo (ph) separated from the herd by a manmade fire.
In Botswana, conservation success is increasingly coming at a cost. There are more elephants here than anywhere on earth. More elephants to come
into conflict with humans.
MCKENZIE (on-camera): So these elephants are literally just crossing the road here, heading towards the river. And this is what people have to deal
with, just on that side, there's a whole community of people living.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Botswana's decision to ban hunting in 2014 was lauded by the West. Here in the heart of the country, there's a decidedly
MCKENZIE (on-camera): For your life, what would you like to happen to the elephants for you?
KENNETH MOYOBA, KASANE RESIDENT: To kill them.
MCKENZIE (on-camera): To kill them?
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Kenneth Moyoba says the tourism dollars don't come to villages like his, but the elephants do, destroying crops. The new
government says its decision to bring back commercial hunting will solve the problem by creating what it calls buffer zones between hunting reserves
and local communities.
But commercial hunters will target bull elephant deep in the wilderness far away from people. The poachers are already here.
MIKE CHASE, ELEPHANT RESEARCHER: It's the last sanctuary for elephants in Africa. It's true wilderness. What we thought was a sanctuary is no
longer because poachers have discovered that this is an area with big bones concentrate.
MCKENZIE: Elephant researcher, Mike Chase, is taking us to the slaughter. From the air, the attempt to conceal the carcasses is clear.
CHASE: The X marks at the bottom.
MCKENZIE: On the ground, the evidence of the ongoing massacre is sickening.
MCKENZIE (on-camera): The face looks to me has been chopped off.
CHASE: Clearly, obvious signs of a poacher cutting the skull to access the tusks. But another obvious sign, of course, is that the spinal bone has
been chopped by a very sharp machete or axe to paralyze the elephant.
MCKENZIE: Why did they do that?
CHASE: While the elephant is still wounded and in order to paralyze the elephant then they can safely chop out the tusks while the elephant is
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Chase has documented a 500 percent rise in fresh elephant carcasses in Northern Botswana, many of them poached. Botswana
says its elephant populations are stable, ready to be hunted.
Its unbanned hunting, now the government wants to unban ivory sales.
KITSO MAKAILA, BOTSWANA'S MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WILDLIFE AND TOURISM: I would say, yes, there has been an increase in poaching. That, we admit.
MCKENZIE (on-camera): You do admit that there's a poaching problem, then why are you trying to sell ivory onto the market which has been shown to
increase the levels of poaching in the zone?
[14:55:01] MAKAILA: Well, the whole world right now is choosing those markets. And therefore, the big question is, are we sitting on a ticking
time bomb? Because when people say -- eventually say, we are sick and tired of being zookeepers or gatekeepers, there is no return on investment
and then they go randomly out there and massacre them and that is a real problem.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The question Botswana now asks itself, is an elephant worth more dead or alive?
GORANI: And David McKenzie joins me live now from Kasane, Botswana. So, how long will this ban be lifted for, David?
MCKENZIE: Well, at this stage it's open ended. And what worries people, Hala, is that not only the ban, but that potential sale of ivory which they
say could rarely boost the poachers that come across the river behind me that's darkened right now.
And, you know, it's extraordinary, elephants are so intelligent that those that are in those areas where poachers operate and even where people live,
like the area where I'm standing, they often come and drink at the river at night because that's when they feel they can slip in and out.
And so there is some sense that these moves by the Botswana government could put those populations at risk. Hala?
GORANI: And how will this materialize? I mean, will you have like trophy hunters come from outside the country? Will locals join in? How will this
take effect exactly this lifting of the ban?
MCKENZIE: Well, the countries in the region do have hunting. And the way it generally works is that a high-value customer will come in and get a
license, pay tens of thousands of dollars for a bull elephant, potentially.
And the theory is that money gets into the local communities. Now, that's one of the reasons the government is making a big push, Hala, because they
say the community is not benefitting.
But many people we've spoken to say that's not the really their long-term answer. Besides any kind of moral question that many people have around
the hunting of these sentient beasts, the issue, they say, is the country surrounding Botswana as well.
I'm standing at a spot, Namibia is just to my left. Botswana is -- Zimbabwe is just that side of the camera and Angola is behind me. All of
these areas have a bigger poaching problems which means the elephants here in Botswana are even more under threat which means this safe haven is
really key for the survival and thriving of the species in Southern Africa. Hala?
GORANI: David McKenzie in Botswana, thanks very much for joining us.
Well, a quick recap of our top news story. Robert Mueller, the special counsel, looking into possible interference between the Trump campaign and
Russian made a public statement saying that he would be -- say if he thought that Trump had done nothing wrong and saying essentially that --
because of Justice Department rules against indicting a sitting president, this is something he could not do.
I'm Hala Gorani. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" has more after a break.